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Friday, November 30, 2012

Bald Eagles by the Dozen!

A long time ago, I had a friend whose mom used to close her eyes when she drove across the Conowingo Dam (yes I said when she DROVE!) because she did not like driving across the dam for some reason.  If you have not found yourself heading south on Rt 1 from PA into MD across the dam you may wonder what all the fuss is about (though I suppose that driving with your eyes closed is always bad form!)

 I do not have the issue of closing my eyes, but instead make it a practice to count how many eagles I can see as I drive across the dam.  I  mostly find myself traveling across the dam in the spring and I almost always see two or more eagles floating about on the lower side of the dam.    While there are many great migrating warblers and wonderful wildflowers to spot in the summer months, eagles congregate in large numbers during winter months to overwinter near the dam. The mix of woodlands, a large body of rushing water, and lots of fish make this the bald eagle mecca! If you have not had the fortune to spot many bald eagles in your life, I highly recommend making the trip into MD for this experience. 

Some tips on things to bring: Waterproof cold weather gear (there will be some residual spray from the dam), a chair if you are planning to stay for an extended period of time, a camera, binoculars and/or a spotting scope if you have it available--you will be able to see eagles with the naked eye, but you may have better visibility with some help.  

Directions to the dam: 

From Route 1 South cross the dam and just south of the dam, turn east (left) on Shuresville Road. After one-half mile, make the first left onto Shures Landing Road. Follow the road to the parking lot at the base of the dam, where it dead-ends. The parking lot is open every day from 6:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. There are public bathrooms at the pavilion. 

**Coming from Route 1 North turn right onto Shuresville Road before you cross the dam and follow the above instructions starting with that point! 

Good luck and happy eagle hunting!! Here's a photo of one that was taken at TLC's very own Vincenti Preserve! If you decide not to make the trek, keep your eyes open around your house, two were spotted at Auburn Heights Preserve on Wednesday! 

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